Viet Cong Self-titled Album Review

Viet Congs new self-titled album is darker than the winter equinox.

This is their first studio album from Jagjaguwar Records. The band formed from the remnants of the art rock band, Women, with members Matt Flegel on bass and vocals and Mike Wallace on drums.

The two are joined by Scott Monty Munro on guitar and synthesizer with Daniel Christiansen on guitar. Together, they recorded in a barn-studio and delivered one of the most thrilling records of 2015.

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

Viet Cong’s sound is similar to Women in its brevity and guitar sound, but they have made a conscious shift from the kiddy xylophones to a  newly found acoustic landscape as its black canvas. The vocals are a unique piece of this bands sound with deadpan delivery and what seems to be a more washed out version of Paul Banks.

The band’s single Continental Shift, released some time ago, is a great example of what they can do. However, the single does not include an abundance of  synthesizer, which is a seminal part of its new progressive styling. This 7-song LP ends with the song Death, which is dedicated to their ex-guitar-player Christopher Reimer who died in his sleep in February 2012.

Death is an 11-minute epic starting with dreamy guitar sounds, cuing a spaced out drum-roll, and Flegels vocals. From there the crescendo takes you to the brink of life, continuously building and building on a repetitive drum track, only to spin wildly out of control for a good five minutes of straight noise, droning guitars and time fluctuations.

Just as you thought oblivion has commenced, the track dramatically shifts toward the end to a more upbeat version of its former self. Almost like a stage of acceptance, the last minute is Flegels final desperate attempt to get across their artistic statement before the album ends.

This post-punk band has made a statement topping the charts of the 90FMs top 10 during its first week of rotation. You can catch great music like this on 90FM 24/7 over the air-waves or online with the Tunein App.

 

Dylan Shanahan

Station Manager 90FM

dshan230@uwsp.edu

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